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Last August 22nd Kim Kardashian published a photo on Instagram sitting in her wardrobe with a thong sticking out over her neon outfit. Of course, it wasn’t just any thong. It was one of the most emblematic pieces Tom Ford did for Gucci, belonging to the 1997 spring collection. But it’s not the lingerie that stands out, but the way Kim strategically places it for the photo, at sight, confirming a trend that has been appearing timidly in our feeds during the last season.
The “exposed thong” trend was most likely born out of what is known as Sagging, the way that pants were worn by the African American community of rappers and skaters in the U.S. in the early 90s. Wearing the pants lower than usual, underwear became something visible, another element that made up the outfit and as such, with more interest for fashion industry.
At the beginning of 2000s, girls also began to claim their right to show their underwear to the world, finding in Paris Hilton, Britney Spears or Christina Aguilera their most representative allies. And like any trend, little by little it began to disappear from the streets and the catwalks.
Until today. The visible thong has become another of those trends that we have rescued from the aesthetics of the change of millennium. The return of Sagging to men’s fashion, portrayed by Barragán in his show for spring 18, could have served as a warning. Travis Scott and Migos knew.
Now, Bella Hadid and company are the standard-bearers of a trend that countless firms predicted in their SS18 collections. FentyxPuma, Vaquera, Bevza, Linder, Chromat or Tom Ford are some examples.In the recent fashion week, Namilia proposes the most iconic moment with Paris Hilton herself as a model of her hybrid thong-pants.
In Spain we have our own prescribers, such as Bad Gyal, Sita Abellán or La Zowi, which wears Chromosome Residence magnetic thong on her instagram.
This vindication of sexuality and feminine freedom exemplified by the exposed thong also carries a burden of controversy. On the catwalk it seems to empower the women who wear it, but in a different context, such as the street, it can make you feel observed and uncomfortable. Its iconicity showing a woman who feels sexy, free and self-confident is what has made it a trend, but the line between that idea and reality – a reflection of how society still uses it as a symbol of sexualization and objectification of the woman’s body – is as thin as a thong strap itself.